Venango Conservation District Receives $380,873 Through DEP’s Growing Greener Plus Grant Program

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published January 26, 2024 5:30 am

VENANGO COUNTY, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced recently that seven projects in the state’s northwestern region were awarded a total of $1,843,156 through DEP’s Growing Greener Plus grant program.

These projects work to protect waterways and watersheds, reclaim abandoned mine sites, and work to reclaim and plug abandoned oil and gas wells. This year’s awards exceed $12 million statewide.

The Venango Conservation District was awarded $380,873 for a project that will install agricultural BMPs on a dairy farm, including an access road, underground outlet, liquid waste storage facility, heavy use areas, and others.

“The Growing Greener Plus grant program empowers communities to pursue environmental progress and innovation,” said Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley. “This support fuels vital Pennsylvania initiatives that protect our land and restore local watersheds. As a result, our Commonwealth can look forward to a greener future.”

Growing Greener is the largest single investment of state funds in Pennsylvania’s history to address critical environmental concerns. Growing Greener grants can be awarded to watershed groups, local or county government, municipal authorities, county planning commissions, county conservation districts, council of governments, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations. Grantees have up to three years to implement their projects.

The full list of approved Growing Greener Plus projects, funded by the Environmental Stewardship fund, in Northwestern Pennsylvania includes:

Erie County:

  • Gannon University — $308,098: The project will establish several types of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and a management plan for the Gannon University’s campus to reduce its impact on the habitat and water quality in the impaired waters of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.

Indiana County:

  • Borough of Indiana — $364,225: The project will integrate stream realignment, stabilization, and live stake planting, not only mitigating urban runoff and controlling water temperatures, but also reducing flooding in residential areas.
  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy— $71,639: The project will stabilize and improve 700 ft. of streambank erosion and instream habitat located on Crooked Creek. The project will improve habitat for fish and aquatic organisms, reduce the overabundance of nutrients and sediment, and improve the water quality in Crooked Creek.

McKean County:

  • McKean County Conservation District — $346,821:The project will address agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) pollution and mitigate the extensive streambank erosion, denuded riparian corridors, and degraded fish habitat within Long Branch, a tributary to Annin Creek a subwatershed of the Upper Allegheny Watershed.

Warren County:

  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy — $89,000: The project will stabilize up to 1,000 ft. of the eroding streambank on Browns Run near its mouth to the Allegheny River from further erosion, and create increased habitat for native fish species and other wildlife found within the watershed by installing approximately 25 log and stone structures.

Statewide Projects:

  • Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation Development Council— $400,000: The proposed project is a group of service providers that collaborate with watershed and lake management organizations and municipalities to enhance the programmatic and technical skills of these groups to successfully monitor, protect, and restore Pennsylvania’s waterways throughout the state.
  • Stream Restoration, Inc. — $352,583: The project will provide watershed groups, nonprofit organizations, conservation districts, and governmental agencies technical assistance related to the monitoring, operation, and maintenance of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) treatment systems.
  • Stream Restoration, Inc. — $268,432: The project will provide watershed groups, nonprofits, conservation districts, and governmental agencies involved with the restoration of AMD impaired watersheds a free, user-friendly, web-based, GIS-enabled data, and project management tool to help with monitoring, assessment, evaluation, management, and maintenance of watershed restoration projects with a major emphasis on AMD treatment systems.

For more information on the Growing Greener Plus grant program, application guidance, and to sign up for notifications when grant programs reopen, visit DEP’s webpage, Growing Greener Plus Grants Program.

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